Has defensive ammo changed a lot in the last 30 years?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by RLHIII, Mar 15, 2016.

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  1. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    As to the modernity of ammunition, I have been using Federal 9BP in a variety of 9mm pistols for good many years. I do not recall having ever had a failure to feed, fire, or function.
    I know I can buy higher velocity and more expansion and sexy product labels, but it would be hard to regain that level of confidence in Something Else at any reasonable cost in time and money.

    I am reworking my .45 arsenal in search of something that will not kick me into a flinch in a Commander magazine full. It seems that just barely Major power factor is my personal maximum and I would not mind something along the lines of the gunzine article about .45 Lite. I have a handload that suits, but that brings up THAT debate.
  2. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

    Sep 30, 2003
    Wow....some touchy people here. Admittedly, you can't see someone smiling while they type and 'tongue in cheek' might be misconstrued unless you know the person so my apologies to anyone I've offended. Was not meant to be and was partly an attempt at levity.

    What wasn't an accident was the suggestion that carrying the very latest designer boutique bullets doesn't make you all THAT much more effective than plain old non-expanding ammo...and certainly not good enough to replace proper shot placement as the #1 priority when using a firearm in a social setting.

    And one of the things the modern expanding ammo DOES do much better than way back in the past is they tend to penetrate adequately...which is the most important thing. Notice also that when confronted with a barrier or situation where expansion might compromise that adequate penetration that the 'smart' bullet will not expand...and behave just like ball. Which is fine!:)

    I'm just arguing that having a mindset that you are inadequately armed with ball but good to go with a modern expanding bullet indicates to me that you are unsure of your marksmanship and are placing more faith on the machine than the man. As described earlier (and I have done my research and actually agree with most of what was posted) only a CNS hit will instantly stop the shooting. Arguing about anything else is way down the list of desirable outcomes, and too fraught with inconsistencies to come to any meaningful conclusions. Too many if, and's and buts to say that this is better than that.

    Penetration is the MOST important thing, and if you have enough of that...then it's up to YOU to use it to stop the fight. If a badguy stops after one shot, either he decided he didn't want to play anymore or you hit him somewhere really important....and it takes penetration to do that. Waiting for him to bleed out is better than nothing, but certainly not the best situation.

    Oh...and about the 'mag dump' comment. OH..how I WISH we saw more 'One Shot Stops' where the LEO put that round where it counts and ends the situation. I know, I know...shoot until the threat is eliminated. But far, far too often this means a LOT of rounds are flung quickly at the badguy with only a small percentage hitting. (hence the comment about the misses being more dangerous than an overpenetration)

    If all I read was guys saying the HP rounds offer them better performance, I'd agree and shake their hand. Absolutely...especially with modern adequate penetrating bullets. But every time I read the BS about 'protecting the population from over-penetration'...and be honest...how many times do you hear this? Too many IMHO. We all are responsible for every bullet we launch, so why do so many LEO's struggle to qualify with their duty weapon due to lack of practice? I personally know of too many, and them participating in a shooting would be scary for everyone involved..including the bystanders. I'm absolutely NOT Anti-LEO. Far from it, I just wish they took their shooting seriously enough to be proficient. The fact that I can outshoot the vast majority of them (yes..I can) shouldn't be. They are professionals, and should be able to perform accordingly.
  3. atomd

    atomd Member

    Jul 7, 2006
    It's all about money. The 9mm has been around for a long time and sells a lot of ammo. Tons of R&D goes into things like that. That alone has led to lots of improvements. The same thing has been happening with .380 since the .380 has sold a lot more since many states have loosened ccw laws and subcompact and pocket pistols have become much more popular. Then the subcompact 9mm pistols became smaller and even more popular.

    Companies aren't going to invest millions to see if they can make the best bullet design that no one wants to buy. Of course things will get better. This technology trickles down to other rounds as well but the 9mm is where the money is. It's a great round that people like and it sells.
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